The Federal Government has described as false, the indictment of the management and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and exoneration of the former Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Dr. Olawale Babalakin, alleged to have been contained in the report submitted by the Presidential Visitation Panel.
This was as the government has disclosed ongoing plans to set up White Paper committees with the intent to ensure all findings and recommendations of Presidential Visitation Panels to institutions including Unilag, were addressed in a holistic manner.
Recall that following the crisis in the Ivory Tower, which led to the suspension of Ogundipe as VC by the Dr. Babalakin-led Governing Council of the institution, a Presidential Visitation Panel was constituted to critically look into the matter
But a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Ben Goong yesterday in Abuja, insisted that the syndicated publication found in major newspapers and on the social media on September 13, 2021, has no bearing with the report submitted by the panel.
The statement partly reads: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Education has been drawn to several syndicated publications in the print media of the same date, insinuating among other things that the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Lagos indicted the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ogundipe and the management of that university.
“The stories also posited that the report exonerated the former Chairman of Council, Dr. Olawale Babalakin.
“The Ministry wishes to state in very categorical terms that these claims are false, unfounded and to say the least, mischievous, as they have no bearing with the report submitted by the Panel, which was chaired by a reputable Fourstar General, Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), one of the finest officers of the Nigerian Army.
“It will be recalled that the Seven-Man Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Lagos submitted its report along with others to the Hon. Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu on 31st August,2021 and not 7th of September, 2021 as claimed in the publications.
“Government is in the process of setting up White Paper Committees to address all the findings and recommendations of the Panels, including that of Unilag in a holistic manner.
“Government had earlier issued a White Paper on the report of the 2020 Special Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Lagos which culminated in the dissolution of the former Governing Council and the reinstatement of the Vice Chancellor.
“Stakeholders and the general public are therefore advised to ignore in totality, these false, malicious and selfserving publications as well as their orchestration on social and electronic media while we await the formal release of the Government White Paper on the Panel’s reports.”